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Conversion Agent – Silence of the RepeatingGroup (Part 1)

I have always been facinated with the file content conversion in the File adapter and maybe thats the reason Conversion Agent caught my attention. But then as much as the tool seems to be simple at the first glance, the deeper I dug, the harder the earth became. 

To start with conversion agent the very best info available currently in SDN is this How to get started using Conversion Agent from Itemfield.

The weblog should help you know where and how to find and get yourself started with Conversion Agent.  I wouldnt want to take up much space on this weblog to let you know what really is Conversion Agent and what is it supposed to do. I leave it to There you will find tutorials that will help you initially to play around. 

In this weblog, we will be looking at the parser capability of CA#. We will particularly look at the RepeatingGroup Anchor. The “Defining an HL7 Parser” exercise in the CMGetStart.pdf will tell you that RepeatingGroup Anchor is used to handle an unbounded node.  I would suggest you go through that exercise before we start with this. 

In our case, the XSD being used will have the following structure.


Note that A and D are repeating nodes at the same level. Note:   Get the XSD here.  KeyFields (Markers) for the input file are as follows;  01 – Header 02 – A 03 – B 04 – C 05 – D 06 – E

We start with a new Parser project in CA Studio.

The summary of the new project created will be as follows;



We then continue with creating markers and content for the Header node.

Follow the table below; Note that the data holder has not been mentioned. Provide the appropriate data holder from your XSD.image

Now we continue to read the file further and fill the node A. Since node A is 1-Unbounded, we require to use a RepeatingGroup Anchor.  Continue as follows;  Define a RepeatingGroup Anchor and use 02 (keyfield) as the separator. Go further as per the below screenshot.


Now we seee that the Parser has successfully read the header and A nodes. 

In the next part we will complete the exercise by reading the rest of the file.   

Reference:# – Conversion Agent

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  • Hi Shabarish,

    Nice blog.Very well organized.It is quite interesting and it has invoked great interests in Conversion Agent.Need to try it soon.I am eager to know the performance of this Module/Studio in handling big files when used with XI.

    Sudharshan N A